Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
School of Medical and Health Sciences
For centuries, spices have been consumed as food additives or medicinal agents. However, there is increasing evidence indicating the plant-based foods in regular diet may lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer disease. Spices, as one of the most commonly used plant-based food additives may provide more than just flavors, but as agents that may prevent or even halt neurodegenerative processes associated with aging. In this article, we review the role and application of five commonly used dietary spices including saffron turmeric, pepper family, zingiber, and cinnamon. Besides suppressing inflammatory pathways, these spices may act as antioxidant and inhibit acetyl cholinesterase and amyloid β aggregation. We summarized how spice-derived nutraceuticals mediate such different effects and what their molecular targets might be. Finally, some directions for future research are briefly discussed.
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